Rice Owls Club Baseball

‘Hurricane’ Jake Gildan hits home run, TCU forfeits
April 12, 2015, 9:27 pm
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Rice traveled to the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to face TCU, winning the three game series two games to one.

In game one, Chris Thomas started on the mound and pitched six strong innings in a tightly contested game, earning the W in a 5-4 Rice win. Chris was also a key piece of the offensive effort, notching three hits. Will Bower logged the save to secure the Rice win in what was a (surprisingly) well-played ballgame between fairly evenly matched teams, reminiscent of the game between Rice and TCU last fall at Wood Wars that resulted in a 4-3 Rice win.

Game two had some historical significance for the Owls before turning sour in an 11-4 loss (5inn, hurricane). Jake Gildan started on the mound, and battled through a bruised push-off foot for three innings in a no-decision. Jake helped himself out at the plate, dropping a three-run bomb to straightaway center field to give the Owls a 4-3 lead in the 4th inning. This was the first home run for the Rice club baseball team since the spring of 2011, before any current members of the team attended Rice. The aftermath of the hurricane left the field in poor shape, and the Horned Frogs were the beneficiaries of several unfortunate bounces and some defensive miscues by the Owls as the game ran out of daylight the next inning.

Game three turned out to be a TCU forfeit, resulting in a 7-0 Rice victory. On Sunday at the hallowed grounds of Z Boaz Park, often confused with Augusta National, the Owls took to perhaps the most intriguing fungo golf course they’ve ever played. For a full nine holes, the Owls battled it out and by the end of the day Oscar Turner reigned supreme.

Rice is back in action next weekend as they face defending DII national champions TAMU Corps of Cadets in Franklin, Tx, for the first time since falling to the Aggies in the 2012 District 7 championship series.

Turner no-hitter highlights Rice sweep over Lamar
February 22, 2015, 10:34 pm
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For a three game series that involved two come-from-behind victories and a walkoff no hitter for the Owls, Rice’s three game sweep over Lamar was actually devoid of much drama at all. In a battle of proud bird species, the Owls proved themselves to be superior to the Cardinals this weekend (sorry Brody).

In game one Chris Thomas was strong on the mound, striking out 10 batters over six innings in a 9-2 Rice win. The Owls offense took advantage of some early Lamar miscues to score seven straight runs after trailing 1-0.

In game two, recently minted President Jake Gildan went six solid innings on the mound, retiring 10 straight batters at one point in an 11-2 Rice win, his fourth straight conference win dating back to last season. Again the Owls easily overcame a 1-0 deficit with a five-run bottom of the first and cruised to the series win.

The game three forecast of 100% chance of rain must have actually been referring to Oscar Turner (fka. Rainbow Warrior), who channeled his inner Henderson Alvarez (thumbs up if you get the reference) in producing the ever-rare walkoff no-hitter (by 10 run rule, but still pretty cool). The Owls completed the sweep with a 10-0 (5 inn) win as Oscar scattered just three walks and zero hits over 5 innings and put his work gloves to use at the plate with 4 rbi.

The Owls had many solid performances at the plate highlighted by Kenan Davis, who reached base in 10 of his 11 plate appearances and scored an incredible 8 runs over the three game series.

Noteworthy: 2015 is Lamar’s first season in the NCBA, and this was their first ever series as a club. Good luck to them moving forward…The Rice series sweep snapped a streak of five straight conference series losses (excepting forfeits) dating back to 2013.

Rice wins one of three against Lonestar DII
February 9, 2015, 4:55 pm
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This past weekend, Rice faced off against LSC Montgomery in their first conference series of the season. The Owls dropped the series two games to one.

In game one, the Owls offense was stymied in an 8-0 loss. Despite the shutout, Rice actually showed some promise at the plate, but had some poor luck with placement, as well as a few baserunning mistakes. Freshman Chris Thomas (spirit animal: dog) started on the mound for the Owls, and after being rudely welcomed to the game by the Lonestar #5 hitter, settled in for the rest of his start.

Game two was a different story, as Rice beat LSC Montgomery 13-5. Like the frequent freight trains running behind the left field fence at Spring Klein Park, the Owls offense was chugging along all afternoon. Jake Gildan started on the mound, and was able to avoid the big inning while pitching with the lead, going 5 steady innings for the win. Brody Weinrich was solid in relief, pitching two innings to finish the game.

The game three rubber match didn’t go the Owls way, as they were stung by the LSC offense in a 17-7 (6 inn.) loss. The Rice offense was again a bright spot and kept the Owls in it for a while, but in the end they succumbed to an ignominious mercy rule loss.

The Owls had many solid hitting performances over the weekend, as Jake Hernandez led the way with 6 hits, 5 runs and 3 stolen bases over the weekend. Kenan Davis, Chris Thomas and Daniel Suzuki all also hit over .500 for the weekend.

Noteworthy: Jake Gildan has been the pitcher of record in the Owls’ last three conference wins dating back to last season. Living legend Zach Satira (’13) was the last other person to win a conference game for the Owls, in the 2013 conference championship series against SFA (aka. the “throw it all” game) … The LSC coach was fascinated to find that Rice freshman Perry Goldstein shared his first name, and expressed this amazement repeatedly throughout game 3 of the series … Many rounds of fungo golf were played, but the winners were not reported to this publication in time for print.

2015 Season Schedule
January 9, 2015, 9:38 pm
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This spring, the Owls will take on a number of old and new rivals in the newly formed District VII-South of the NCBA’s Division II. Each conference series is three games, usually with two games on Saturday and one on Sunday. We will also play a non-conference doubleheader against LSC D1.


February 7-8           @ Lonestar (DII) (Spring, Tx)

February 15             @ Lonestar (DI) (Kingwood, Tx)

February 21-22        Lamar

March 14-15            UHD

April 11-12               @ TCU (Fort Worth, Tx)

April 18-19               @ TAMU Corps of Cadets (College Station, Tx)

Wood Wars 2014 wrap-up
November 2, 2014, 11:03 pm
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The Owls traveled north to the suburbs of Dallas for the annual Wood Wars wood bat tournament in McKinney, Texas this past weekend. With a 16-team field, the tournament had some strong competition as always. Rice faced off against Texas Tech, TCU and Texas State and held its own against them.

In the first game on Friday afternoon, the Owls struggled at the plate against eventual tournament runner-up Texas Tech, and lost 9-0 in a game that was closer than the score would indicate. Freshman Chris Thomas went six innings on the mound in his first game with the team. The Swing-it Hitters Challenge didn’t go much better for the Owls on the scoreboard, but the players in the stands certainly enjoyed the proceedings.

Day two of the tournament was more successful for the Owls. In game two, Rice beat TCU 4-3 behind a solid start on the mound from senior Oscar Turner, and a clutch late-inning performance from freshman Kenan Davis, who tripled and scored the go-ahead run, and closed out the game on the mound.

In game 3, senior Jake Gildan started on the mound against Texas State, and completely dominated the Bobcats in five innings of shutout ball. However, the Owls couldn’t hold their 2-0 lead in the late innings, falling 4-2.

Overall it was a successful weekend for the Owls, and the team’s performance at this tournament gives hope for a strong season in the spring.

Owls drop doubleheader to LSC
September 28, 2014, 10:33 pm
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Rice played a doubleheader against LSC-Montgomery on Saturday, losing both games. While the result wasn’t what the Owls were hoping for, they were able to accomplish their goal of getting everyone who showed up some game experience and reps in games that won’t count for the conference standings.

Returning players Oscar Turner and Jake Gildan started the two games, each pitching three innings. The games marked the first appearances with the team for the freshmen, and also served as the coaching debuts of club baseball legends Alex Kendall and Daniel Kaplan.

It was clear from the games that the team has some kinks to work out before the regular season, but there is ample time to do so. Perhaps most notably, newly retired player Luis Jarma will need to improve his ability to play walk-up songs, and everyone was a little bit rusty at fungo golf.

The Owls next play at Wood Wars Oct. 31-Nov.2 in McKinney, Tx.

2014/15 Season Preview
September 17, 2014, 5:05 pm
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The Owls look to rebound from a disappointing 2013/14 season and claim their third division title in four years. With the top ranked recruiting class on espn.com, the Owls are poised for success this year. Tim Kurkjian has described this year’s team as one of the best he’s ever seen, and was especially impressed with the number of two-sport stars on the team, who have already proven their mettle in both baseball and “hockey.” With the team’s great crop of young talent and location in Houston, Sports Illustrated has decided to feature a cover story proclaiming the Owls to be the 2017 world champs.

Now for some real news:

NCBA DII District VII has undergone a massive overhaul and now looks like this:

South Division – Rice, TAMU CC (Defending NCBA DII World Series champions), LSC Montgomery, TCU, Lamar, UHD

Central Division – Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, Central Missouri, Arkansas, Missouri S&T

North Division – Indiana State, Illinois, St. Louis, SIU-Carbondale, WashU, Murray State

Three division winners and one wild card make the conference tournament.

The 2014/15 Rice Club Baseball officers:

President: Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan

Vice-President/Treasurer: Jake Gildan

Fall 2014 Schedule:

9/27 – @ LSC Tomball (DH)

10/31-11/2 – Wood Wars Tournament (McKinney, Tx)


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